Local Politics

Court blocks surrender of Edwards sex tape

Posted February 9, 2010

— The state Court of Appeals on Tuesday blocked a judge's order calling for the surrender of a videotape purportedly showing two-time Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards engaged in extramarital sex.

The order came after former Edwards aide Andrew Young turned over the tape to beat a 2 p.m. Wednesday deadline, said Young's attorney, Mark Edwards.

Superior Court Judge Abraham Penn Jones on Friday ordered Young to turn the tape and other items over to the court, where they would be sealed until a lawsuit involving Young and Rielle Hunter, a campaign staffer who had an affair and a child with Edwards, is resolved.

Late Sunday, Jones amended his order to require that a security officer accompany Young to a safe deposit box in Atlanta to retrieve the tape. The judge said he wanted to ensure the items were properly surrendered and that no copies remained outside of the court's custody.

The revised order also said another security officer would retrieve photos from Young's laptop in Raleigh and would scrub the computer to ensure the image files were completely erased.

Young appealed the revised order Monday. Mark Edwards said scrubbing his computer could destroy potential evidence in the civil case.

Hunter sued Andrew and Cheri Young on Jan. 28, saying they had taken a video she described as "very private and personal," as well as two campaign videos she shot and eight pictures of her daughter.

She alleged that Young and his wife wanted the items to generate publicity for his new book, "The Politician," which chronicles John Edwards rise and fall and provides details of his affair with Hunter. She obtained a restraining order that prevents the couple from using the videos or photos.

The videos were in a box in a Chatham County house the Youngs rented for Hunter in 2007, while the photos were on her digital camera or laptop, she said.

The Youngs said last week that they kept the items only to back up details in the book and never intended to profit from them. Still, they contend in court filings that Hunter left the items in a box in their home for more than two years, so she no longer can asset ownership over them since they were abandoned.


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  • florence Feb 10, 2010

    I read Andrew Youngs book about John And Elizabeth Edwards. It was the best reading I have done in a long time. I had alway felt sorry for Mrs. Edwards because of her cancer but after reading the book my sympathy goes to Mr. Young and his family. Mrs. Edwards HAD to have known bout the affair for a very long time but SHE decided to trash Mr. Youngs reputation because she was lying to herself and wanted to believe in her husband. Mr. Edwards never cared about the low income population and cringed when he had to be in their company. Mrs Edwards hired other people to care for her children and to do all of the personal things for them that a parent usually does. Ms. Hunter set John Edwards up and that was her intentions all along. She placed the sex tape where it was sure to be found and he was too stupid to realize that.

  • sillywabbitthepatriot Feb 10, 2010

    I didn't realize home videos that were not copyrighted were protected under the law.

    I don't think this sex tape is. Other than being personal property that was forgotten and left behind, Hunter has no other legal claim.

  • cwood3 Feb 10, 2010

    All the players in this very tragic games are absolute slime. I could have told you about John Edwards befroe he ran for president. Although he was our Senator(whom I never voted for), he was seldom there to represent the people of North Carolina.
    We were just pawns for his big harrah-President of the United States. What a joke.

    However, I'm not sure we are much better off with the Chicago Thug. Hillary sure looks attractive compared to these 2 clowns.
    Shame the Republicans did'nt have a stronger ticket.

  • tiblet Feb 10, 2010

    helpthekids...I agree with you 100%. It is easy to villify the Youngs but they are guilty of being naive and allowing themselves to be used by John Edwards. They invested everything in Edwards with the promise that they would be part of changing America and when they gave to John Edwards in ways that were frankly, unimaginable...claiming paternity for his illegitimate child....he just threw them away. They were used, thrown away and are now left with nothing. If writing about their experiences with him will help them get back on their feet then I think they were justified and I hope the book sells well. If you don't want to read it...don't buy it.

    I personally feel that they learned some very painful lessons but hope that they recover and can move on.

  • Hans Feb 10, 2010

    Everything has to be a big, scandalous show to distract the public from the things going on that really matter.

  • Phrostbite Feb 10, 2010

    Seems Edwards & his inner circle were full of king cobra snakes. Hmm, I seem to recall something about those snakes devouring one another...oh well. Edwards, the Youngs, & Hunter look like snakes in the grass.

  • The Fox Feb 10, 2010

    Young's book is a really good read. A good behind the scenes look at NC politics.

  • Spongebob Feb 10, 2010

    What goes around comes around and that's what happened when Hunter and Edwards forgot they left that tape in the box. Shouldn't have made the tape in the first place but Edwards clearly thought he could get out of any trouble he would ever be in.

  • Spongebob Feb 10, 2010

    I don't think they "stole" the tape. They were cleaning up a house that they happen to (per Edwards orders) be housing his mistress in and had an "ah ha!" moment when they opened a box. It was like a gift to them. Proof that Edwards is a slime.

  • NotFromHere Feb 10, 2010

    "The Youngs are doing everything to generate more $ for their sordid book" - AX

    The book is only "sordid" because of the actions of Edwards and his misstress. It is their behavior that makes the whole thing disgusting.

    As for the Edwards' children, why should the Youngs care about them and their feelings? John Edwards, their own father, obviously didn't.